Thomas à Kempis
My “go-to” book on discernment is Hearing with the heart: A gentle guide to discerning God’s will for your life (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2003) by Debra K. Farrington. She begins Chapter 1 with this prayer by Thomas à Kempis whom the Episcopal Church commemorates today (July 24):
Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what delights you most, to value what is precious in your sight, to hate what is offensive to you. Do not allow me to judge according to the sight of my eyes, nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of my ears; but to discern with a true judgment between things visible and spiritual, and above all things, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of your will.
The wisdom of Thomas has helped and continues to help shape my spirituality. My prayer is frequently not as eloquent as this prayer, but it is nonetheless fervent in seeking to know and do God’s will.
What do you think—is his prayer something you have prayed? Something you would like to pray? Something that a Christ-follower might actually achieve (knowing and doing God’s will)? Let us know.